After returning to running four years ago, I found that I suffered a lot with cramp around the area where I fractured my Tibia and Fibula, especially around the scar tissue from a procedure called a fasciotamy.

Thanks to Emma and the team at VR, I haven’t had one instance of this since I started to wear the VR Performa compression sock. I sent a simple tweet out asking for advice and VR replied straight away. Since then VR have been there for me every step of the way.

It has been a great journey so far this year, and my VR Performa compression socks have helped me complete two big city marathons in 2015 (Paris & London) as well as a few Half marathons and a 1:22:45 effort at the Wilmslow half back in April.

Last month I headed to Kenya on the trip of a lifetime. I trained at altitude for two weeks prior to competing in the Lewa Marathon which is rated as one of the top ten hardest Marathons in the world.

Emma contacted me asking me to put the VR Performa Pro through their paces on the Kenyan dirt tracks.

The socks arrived a couple of weeks before I departed for Iten. I received a nice looking pair of White Performa Pro with a green trim and also a black pair with a green trim.

First impressions were that they felt more lightweight than the VR Performa which are also a great sock and seen me through around 700 miles already this year.

I arrived in Iten on Friday the 11th of June in the early evening after 30 hours of travelling.

Before I knew it my alarm was buzzing and waking me up at 0600hrs on the Saturday morning. Time for my first run in Kenya and time to put the Performa Pro through their paces.

The sock felt really light, at times I forgot I was wearing them. Some days I trained twice per day. Most of my mileage was on the famous dirt tracks of Iten. It was a surreal experience, our pacer Japhet would point out the famous athletes that we passed whilst running. Japhet is no slouch, a 2:16 marathoner and runner up at the Edinburgh Marathon in 2014. I can honestly say that I didn’t suffer with aching calf muscles at all. I also ran a couple of harder sessions at the Lornah Kiplagat Sports Academy track and the track at Kamariny Stadium. I even competed in the 400m event at the regional championships.

The trip culminated with me competing in the Lewa Marathon. This is rated as one of the top ten hardest foot marathons in the world. To make things a little harder, the temperature was over 30c. 250 Runners competed in the Full marathon and only 99 completed it. I was placed 21st in 3:30:50, which I was delighted with. Especially in a race amongst the so many Kenyan athletes. I stuck to my plan and didn’t go out too fast and I enjoyed every minute of the race. I even had to slow down to allow an Ostrich to cross the dirt track ahead of me at mile 14. Zebra and Hyena were also spotted along the course. I suppose it makes things a little more interesting.

The VR Performa Pro held up great. I didn’t even ache the day after the Lewa Marathon and my calf muscles felt fresh.

In the two and a half weeks that I spent in Iten & Lewa, I covered 136 miles which is probably the highest mileage I have ever run in that period of time. I have always a little scared that my body would break after the injury I suffered ten years ago, so since I started to train and compete in Marathons at the beginning of 2014 I had restricted my mileage to 50-55 miles per week during my training plan.

The combination of training in Kenya and the faith that I have in VR Compression socks will now give me the confidence in my ability to run 80-100 miles per week when training for next the 2016 London Marathon which I have a Good For Age entry into.

I hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed putting the VR Performa & VR Performa Pro through their paces in the running capital of the world.

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